October Habit #26 Less Paper Clutter is Less Stress

Dear FlyLady,

I just read the testimonial from Rita  with her suggestions about containing office clutter. I, too, am a retired accountant and, being a little left-brained, love an organized office/life!

I use a large file-size desk drawer where I have hanging file folders labeled for each month. Every bill goes in there after being paid (on-line), as well as receipts for purchases. This does not include heath-related items or brokerage statements (more about that below). I also have a red file folder in the back of this drawer labeled “Taxes”, and throughout the year, I place anything having to do with tax prep in that. When my return is prepared, the contents of the “Taxes” folder goes in with my tax file.

At year end, (love doing this on New Year’s Day) I go through each folder and sort out the important papers to save in a large file folder with a fold over top.  I label this with the year and on the label write “Destroy in 2017” or whatever the year is, four years hence. I then shred anything with identification on it and throw out the rest. This takes about 30-40 minutes.

When I get the payment confirmation page after paying bills online, I copy and paste that to a Word document, save it by the date and place in a computer folder labeled “Bank”. I do the same for every on-line order I place: copy and place in the folder and save to the vendor name. NEVER print out those things! Too much paper, too much [expensive] toner!

I use large black ring binders labeled for each brokerage account, hole-punch and file these monthly. And for those insurance and medical reports, I have a separate file drawer with “Medical – NK” and Medical – DH” and “Meds” folders where I file those things. Every couple of years or so, I go through this and destroy the things no longer pertinent.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone thinks that organizing this sort of stuff takes a lot of work. It’s a wonderful way to free up time, stay organized – and get the stress out!

I’ve been flying for several years since a librarian friend of mine wrote your name on a napkin at lunch.  Love it!!

FlyBaby K


FlyLady here:

Having a Flylady Calendar to note when saved documents should be shredded, a timer to keep you motivated, and an Office in a Bag for your current bills and important records will help so much with our October Habit of the Month. I use the red Office in a Bag for my emergency contact information. It would also be a great place to keep tax information and other important documents!

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